Wednesday, June 21, 2017

When Employees Make Mistakes

Question: How many of us have team members that have stumbled?

Answer: All of us.

Reactions, Fear and True Colors
Mistakes are one of the most important opportunities for leaders to demonstrate to the rest of the team what they are all about. Are anger, harsh words or the proverbial cold shoulder part of your leadership playbook "to make a point?" Guess what? 

You are an abject failure. 

Strong words? Yep. 

Accurate? Hell, yes.

If we take a moment and put ourselves in the place of our employee who has made the error, we must realize they are feeling more anxiety than we are. They have failed. They are "in trouble." They may even have put their employment status in jeopardy.

Now, which one of us is more stressed?

In that moment when we feel a surge of energy, and the myriad consequences are rapidly processing through our heads...

...that is exactly when we need to show who we are as leaders. Our true colors.

Being Evaluated
What is often forgotten in our haste to react, to correct the error, and to normalize operations, is that not only is the employee watching our every move; but so is the rest of the team.

If you still believe that employees are not discussing when and how they are held accountable for their mistakes you are completely out of touch with reality.

Instead, consider those moments as the perfect chance to balance accountability with compassion. Take a moment to consider what you will say, and how you will deliver the message. I call this the "one second rule" - literally, give yourself one second to decide.

The manner in which you treat the employee will be shared, discussed, and evaluated either positively or negatively. Quite honestly, I'm counting on that discussion to occur. It is an opportunity to give real insight into one's leadership style under a very private set of circumstances that is not readily visible.

How About You
Do you want to be known as some sort of prehistoric leadership dinosaur that "goes off" on people? Or, would you prefer to be known as the leader who is fair, approachable, but still firm when necessary? 

One last question..have you ever made a mistake? How did you want to be treated?

I thought so.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Secret Talent Weapon You're Wasting

Every organization I speak with "wants" to be a contemporary player in the ongoing struggle to attract talent. However, most have no idea how to leverage social or digital tools to make that desire a reality.

Sadly, one of the most powerful and frequently overlooked weapons available is walking in and out of the front door every day.

The employees.

Brand Ambassadors
Whether we call them brand ambassadors, employee advocates, or formal members of the recruitment marketing team, there is no voice more powerful than the voice of the those that have already committed to representing the employer brand.

Let's leave the whole "building an employer brand strategy" discussion for another post, and focus on the massive amount of horsepower that is ready, willing and able to launch that strategy right now.

The first step is easy and effective: identify the employees who are already on social, or who have expressed an interest in being more active on social platforms.

If you think it is impossible to find these internal superusers, you are actually saying more about how out of touch you are vs. expressing frustration with the process. If you haven't kept up with the changes in the world of work, of course it will be difficult to identify your own brand champions.

Start Small, Go Big
A simple search of the various social channels will help you identify who is actively supporting your employer brand. Set up a twitter list to help keep track of the team's efforts quickly and efficiently.

Next, reach out to those individuals and draft them into service as part of your overall employer brand strategy.

Formalize the support you provide your initial core group of brand champions with training, guidance, content recommendations, and support. From there, you can add new employees to the group in a thoughtful and coordinated way.

How About You
There really is no excuse to hide behind the fear of social media. It is a core component of every industry. In fact, your employees are probably wondering why you don't ask them to help. They are already advocating for your company, you just don't know it!

The only thing standing in your you. Let me help!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

When Was the Last Time You...

Regret. It's a part of everyone's career. Sometimes we are thankful we didn't get what we wished for; and, at others we look back and shake our heads at what might have been. It can generate emotions from a sense of relief, to feeling caught in a frustrating spiral with no end in sight.

Going For it
For me, one word has summed up how I decided to "follow" my career path. It helped inform moves I made within the health systems where I worked, to moving across the country, to making a radical departure within the healthcare industry into a whole new world.


I decided early on I was going to go for it. My peers wondered what I was doing. My internal competitors may have been a bit jealous of my success. My friends and family sometimes thought I was crazy.

Risk big, win big.

As you consider your own career, whether you are a new college graduate or an experienced veteran of the world of work, ask yourself these questions:

When was the last time you...

- defined where you want your career to go?

- stepped away from something good, rewarding, and safe to follow your vision?

- told your inner circle that you were thinking about making a bold move?

- did the math on your finances to understand what you needed to live your plan?

- changed the way you work now to prepare for the future?

- took a risk?

How About You
What do you really want to do with your professional life? Write it down. Talk about it. Start working that way today. 

Take the risk.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Lead By Example In Employer Brand Marketing

It's a tired phrase...lead by example...but one that hangs on so long because it is perhaps the most powerful leadership strategy available. When leaders match their actions to their words amazing things can happen.

As I think about the leaders I've worked with over the years, many have made strong statements, enacted big policy changes, or made bold organizational pronouncements. However, precious few have actually backed up their talk with the proverbial walk.

This same challenge is painfully obvious in the world of employer brand marketing.

Can't Just Talk About It

For the more savvy leader, there is an awareness that both employer brand, and the marketing that goes along with it, are no longer options. They are required. 

Allocating resources and supporting the development and execution of a strategy, should be required of every leader at every level.

But how to make it happen?

Who pulls it all together, particularly when most leaders are still hiding behind the tired excuses that they don't "do" social media, blogging or push out any forms of content?

You do, that's who.

Leading By Example...For Real
It takes more than just a driven HR leader to make this happen however.

In his recent post describing the important role executives play in content marketing, Robert Caruso details not only the rationale for executive involvement, but some compelling data that would indicate it's time for senior leaders to get in the game.

Delegating participation in an organization's employer brand strategy is not only ineffective, it is obvious to most who are paying attention. 

How About You
Who do you know in your organization that needs to be more involved in your recruitment marketing initiatives? Have you reached out to give them the support they will need as they start using unfamiliar, and candidly intimidating (at first) digital tools? 

I'll help too. Don't be afraid to reach out at any time.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I Don't Have the Time for My Personal Brand

The questions, and the obvious struggle, seems to be popping up everywhere I turn. Colleagues and clients alike are starting to understand just how important having a personal brand is for their career.

Now, for those of you that think "personal brand talk" doesn't hold any weight; really impact the world of work, or make a difference in the trajectory of your career, please stop reading and go back to watching Happy Days.

It's a digital world now...are you with me?

Time or Priority
Here's the chatter...

"Jay, I wish I had the time to work on this stuff....I work hard, love my job, but know I should be doing more for myself....and I know it will help my company too..."

And here's my response...

"How about we replace the word 'time' with 'priority?' It goes something like this...I haven't made my brand a priority." 

How does that feel?

Getting Started Is Easy
I'm not sure how the "mystery of a personal brand" started, but candidly friends, there is no mystery. If you can copy and paste, text, or click a share button you are well on your way.

3 Steps to a Fast Start!
- Make sure your social media accounts are up to date (LinkedIn, twitter, Instagram, etc.)

- Identify 10-15 sources of content you would like to share (always include your employer's content)

- Share content across your social channels throughout the week


You're off and running!

How About You
Let me help you get started. Reach out when you're ready, and we'll get you set up and rocking in no time! 

Let's do this!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

You Can't Bring Me Down

I thought you could use a heavy dose of my view of the last twenty years of work!

You Can't...

- make me a hater with your hate

- worry me with your rumors

- get me worked up simply because you are an insecure old-school leader

- stop me from pushing the organization forward

- slow me down from being a positive force in the company

- block me from being the mentor you wish you could be

- stand in my way from networking around the world to learn and grow

- instill any self-doubt or fear in me

- force me to follow approaches that are out of step with the modern world

You can't bring me down!

How About You
Are you ready to be an unstoppable force in your organization? Go get it!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Don't Be A Human Resources Jargolonian

Every professional discipline has a unique culture that goes along with it. Key terms, work processes, codes of ethics, behavioral norms, and words that inform various situations or issues are all part of the work.

Some of these words are important and need to be understood and used regularly to demonstrate competency and awareness.

Other words are simply jargon that are used in an attempt to demonstrate competence, but in reality end up clogging conversations, meetings, and other forms of communication with extra words.

Here are a few of my "favorites."

Stakeholder - an important term that is used to recognize the people who are interested in certain issues, projects, or organizations. 

Unfortunately, this perfectly good word is so overused that I get hungry when I hear it...

Fork + Knife = Steak Holder

Synergy - a word that is intended to demonstrate the power of working together. However, this too is so overused I find myself wondering....

Who actually goes home at the end of the day and says "we created so much synergy today!"

No one.

Straw Man - a wonderful concept that should ignite a productive brainstorming session on a certain topic, idea or initiative.

However, never in my life, prior to moving to the consulting side of life, did I ever use the term straw man in my corporate roles....the only thing that comes to mind for me is...

The Wizard of Oz.

How About You
Which words do you love to use, but actually kick off an avalanche of eye rolls around the conference room table?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.